Celtics learning on European vacation
The Celtics spent four days in Turkey and then got a taste of Italy before their return trip home to Boston.
That taste was a good one, as Boston crushed Emporio Armani yesterday, 105-75. But wins and losses are hardly important during the preseason. With a lot of new faces, it’s an opportunity for Doc Rivers and his staff to simply see what they’re working with.
The consensus? They’re working with a lot. Sure, they lost on Friday (to one of the best European teams out there in Fenerbahce Ulker) and turned the ball over too much, but in the first game of the preseason, that’s to be expected — not to mention the C’s relied heavily on their bench.
So what should Celtics fans be excited about?
First, it looks like Jeff Green is a man on a mission. Drawing comparisons to James Worthy by CSNNE’s color commentator (and former Celtic) Brian Scalabrine, Green stood out above everyone in the team’s first two games, combining to shoot 12-for-19 for 33 points. He looked assertive on the court, but most of all he looked comfortable, which was something we didn’t see in his first stint with the team.
Another pleasant surprise was rookie Jared Sullinger’s performance. Sullinger played so well in the first game (16 points, eight rebounds), Rivers started him in the second one (nine points, seven rebounds).
Don’t expect to see Sullinger in the starting lineup once the regular season begins. It’s just a way for Rivers to get him time with the first unit. Either way, it looks like Boston may have gotten the steal of the draft with Sullinger at pick No. 21.
Less of a surprise, but just as pleasant, was the play of Rajon Rondo. The Celtics won’t go anywhere without him, and he showed that he’s even more confident this season, especially in his shot. Rondo shot 7-for-7 in the first quarter of yesterday’s win and scored 17 points, many of which were of the circus variety.
Lastly, there was the play of Darko Milicic. Brought in a week before camp, Milicic is mammoth in the paint and showed his shot-blocking skills all over this past weekend.